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Posts Tagged ‘death’

Britain’s HS2 Railway: the largest archaeological dig in the country ever? (About.com European History)

An interesting history-related post from About.com European History:

Britain is planning to build a new high speed rail link down part of the country, and the plans are controversial to say the least. But the Thame Gazette has a quote from an HS2 spokesman, and it's very interesting. Ben Ruse is quoted as saying:

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Scotland’s WW1 Heritage Discovered (About.com European History)

An interesting history-related post from About.com European History:

Experts from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, as well as Historic Scotland, have been trawling through maps and documents relating to World War 1 to make the first complete survey of buildings, sites and other survivals linked to the war. The locations include civilian and military sites, such as gun emplacements, hospitals and more, and over nine hundred were found, a full three times what was expected. The Herald from Scotland has more info.

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New This Month: February 2014 Part 2 (About.com European History)

An interesting history-related post from About.com European History:

Our final installment on this subject before tackling other eras is a look at the Nazi (mis)handling of the economy, and the way they treated children. Then there's definitions for a term that will be important later in the year, Sudetenland, and Unconditional Surrender.

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On the Death of Robert Bellah: "I have to look elsewhere, and, with Heraclitus, declare that life and death are one." (Religion in American History)

An interesting history-related post from Religion in American History:

Michael J. Altman

Sociologist of religion Robert Bellah passed away this week at the age of 86 from complications following surgery. Among Americanists, Bellah is best known for his article "Civil Religion in America" and his 1985 book Habits of the Heart. Bellah's most recent work is Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age (Harvard, 2011). For more on that book check out this interview from the Immanent Frame. Or the audio and video below.

I haven't turned to Bellah's work much in my short academic career, mostly because I've been so immersed in the ...

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Death of William Penn (About.com American History)

An interesting history-related post from About.com American History:

In his twenties, William Penn converted to become a Quaker. His father had been very wealthy and to pay for debts that Charles II owed him, the king gave Penn's son a large chunk of land in the New World which became Pennsylvania, one of the thirteen original colonies...

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Napoleon’s death mask sells for $260,000 (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

One of only two plaster death masks of Napoleon Bonaparte remaining in private hands sold on Wednesday at Bonhams’ Book, Map and Manuscript sale in London for £169,250 ($260,000). The death mask was made by surgeon Francis Burton of Britain’s Sixty-Sixth Regiment of Foot on May 7th, 1821, two days after Napoleon’s death on St. Helena. Madame Bertrand, the former emperor’s attendant in exile and wife of General Bertrand, Napoleon’s Grand Marshal, insisted the death mask be taken even though plaster was hard to come by on the remote Atlantic island. By the time enough plaster was scared up ...

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This man’s death inspired the first rules of boxing (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

Bonham’s is selling a portrait of an 18th century bare-knuckle boxer named George Stevenson. Although the artist is unknown and it looks a lot like half of a 1760s painting by John Hamilton Mortimer (see below), the pre-sale estimate is $16,000 – $24,000, because it’s rare to find 18th century paintings depicting boxing and because George Stevenson played an important role in the history of the sport, although sadly not through his victories. It was his death in the ring in 1741 at the ends of champion Jack Broughton that changed boxing forever, inspiring the first rules that would ...

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Roman Death Masks (About.com European History)

An interesting history-related post from About.com European History:

A friend sent me a link to Pinterest which I thought might interest you: it's a photo showing "Roman death masks recovered from underwater excavations." Now, I don't know anything about Pinterest, but I think the picture was originally put online by Fine Art America, and they don't give any more information, so what I'm basically showing you is some beautiful Roman art.

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Another Look at James Otis’s Death (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

On 28 Jan 1896, this item appeared in the New York Times, which credited the Boston Transcript:
James Otis was killed by a stroke of lightning in Andover, Mass., at the old Isaac Osgood farm, May, 1783. Mr. Otis wanted a mug of cider. The hired man went into the cellar to draw the cider, leaving the cellar door open. Mr. Otis was standing in the doorway at the side of the house looking at the clouds, remarking that a heavy shower was coming up. Scarcely had the words been spoken when the bolt came down, struck ...

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John Wilkes Booth’s Death… (About.com American History)

An interesting history-related post from About.com American History:

On April 26, 1865, John Wilkes Booth was found hiding with co-conspirator David Herold in a barn near Port Royal, Virginia. While Herold surrendered, Booth refused so the barn was set on fire. In the ensuing chaos, a soldier shot and killed Booth. However, there are some who claim that he did not die but instead escaped despite the fact that many people who knew Booth identified his body. There are many conspiracies surrounding Abraham Lincoln's death including ones that Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, ones that involved Andrew Johnson, and even one that included the Catholic Church.

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Death in the Alleghenies (History Matters: Historical Musings of Jared Frederick)

An interesting history-related post from History Matters: Historical Musings of Jared Frederick:

The Train Wreck of The Red Arrow


The crash of The Red Arrow on Bennington Curve outside Altoona, PA. Courtesy of the great railroad photo collection at Bill's Pennsy Photos. Check them out!

Reconnecting with an old tale from my local area, I did some research on one of the deadliest incidents in the region past's--and one of the worst transportation accidents in American History for that matter. This past February was the 65th anniversary of the wreck of The Red Arrow. The following is my brief account of what transpired in the mountains above the Rail City ...

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The Black Death’s Genetic Code Calculated (About.com European History)

An interesting history-related post from About.com European History:

Scientists using samples obtained from drilling into the teeth of victims in London have mapped the genetic code of the Black Death, the fourteenth century plague which devastated Europe. According to an article in Nature - reported here on the BBC - all modern strains of 'the plague' derive from the one which so damaged Europe between 1347 and 1351; modern versions still kill 200 a year. If you want to know more about the Black Death, we have an article here, and if you want to know more about how the code was removed from cracking open teeth, ...

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‘The Empire of Death’ (About.com European History)

An interesting history-related post from About.com European History:

I'm going to begin this blog with the same warning I received when this information was sent to me: this contains pictures of real skeletons which some people don't like. With that out of the way, there is perhaps no greater reminder of the changing funeral practices of Europe than the presence of Charnel Houses and Ossuary's, where real skeletons dug from re-used graves were stored, often in remarkably artistic but disturbing displays. Paul Koudounaris has a book out soon called 'The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses', and BBC History Magazine have set up ...

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Death of a President (American Presidents Blog)

An interesting history-related post from American Presidents Blog:


Prologue's blog recently covered the death of President Garfield, so I thought I'd borrow the idea.

Garfield's death, like McKinley's, was slow and his doctors, especially in our modern eyes, were more a problem than a help:
The first doctor on the scene administered brandy and spirits of ammonia, causing the president to promptly vomit. Then D. W. Bliss, a leading Washington doctor, appeared and inserted a metal probe into the wound, turning it slowly, searching for the bullet. The probe became stuck between the shattered fragments of Garfield's eleventh rib, and was removed only with a great deal ...

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Death and Taxes… (About.com American History)

An interesting history-related post from About.com American History:

As Benjamin Franklin said, "In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes." On August 5, 1861, the United States was introduced to something against which American Patriots so ...

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Space, Symbol, Dreams & Death in the Artist’s Studio (Art History Today)

An interesting history-related post from Art History Today:

Continuing this series of posts on the artist’s studio with the most speculative one yet. A few themes are explored here; my favourite is the relationship between the painter’s creativity and dreams, a strand of my research.

The Mental Studio

“The studio is no more than a container, a kind of equipment, a room in which to paint or sculpt, a necessary space. In its isolation the artist watches a painting or sculpture, adjusts it, instinctively responsive to pigments, colours and materials, resolving their conflicts, bringing them together. In this way the studio is also an arena in which controlled ...

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Rituals of Violence, War, and Death Among the Wendats and the Dakotas: Two New Studies (RELIGION IN AMERICAN HISTORY)

An interesting history-related post from RELIGION IN AMERICAN HISTORY:

Paul Harvey

War and violence have been central to American history, nowhere more so than among Native Americans. Here, just wanted to call your attention to a couple of new works that advance new understandings of religious rituals surrounding war, violence, and death.

First, last week Historiann called my attention to a new book which I have yet to see but looks hugely promising, especially as a classroom-usable text. I'll quote from her here:

Erik Seeman’s The Huron-Wendat Feast of the Dead: Indian-European Encounters in Early North America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011). From the book jacket:

“Two thousand Wendat ...

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Rituals of Violence, War, and Death Among the Wendat/Huron and the Dakotas: Two New Studies (RELIGION IN AMERICAN HISTORY)

An interesting history-related post from RELIGION IN AMERICAN HISTORY:

Paul Harvey

War, violence, and rituals of death have been central to American history, nowhere more so than among Native Americans. Here, just wanted to alert you to a couple of new works that advance new understandings of religious rituals surrounding war, violence, and death.

First, last week Historiann called my attention to a new book which I have yet to see but looks hugely promising, especially as a classroom-usable text. I'll quote from her here:

Erik Seeman’s The Huron-Wendat Feast of the Dead: Indian-European Encounters in Early North America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011). From the book jacket:

“Two ...

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In a Death Grip: Lieutenant James S. Greenwood’s Escape (Naval History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from Naval History Blog:

Lieutenant James S. Greenwood and his RIO, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Richard R. Ratzlaff, flew an armed reconnaissance as Silver Kite 202, a Phantom from VF-92 Silver Kings flying from Enterprise (CVAN 65), during a strike near the Vinh Luu Bridge in North Vietnam, on the evening of 20 March 1966. They had dropped to barely [...]

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Death of Rear Admiral Bob English, USN (Naval History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from Naval History Blog:

On 21 January 1943, a Pan Am clipper operating for the Naval Air Transport Service was on a flight from Pearl Harbor to San Francisco.  On board the transport aircraft was Rear Admiral Robert H. English, Commander, Submarines, Pacific Fleet, headed for a conference at Mare Island, together with three of his senior staff officers.  [...]

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The Death of Rutherford B. Hayes (About.com American History)

An interesting history-related post from About.com American History:

On January 17, 1893, Rutherford B. Hayes, the nineteenth President of the United States, died of a heart attack. As president, Hayes' held strong views on civil service reform which ...

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FDR’s Death (American Presidents Blog)

An interesting history-related post from American Presidents Blog:


This is an account of FDR’s death from Grace Tully, FDR’s private secretary of 17 years:
By the time I reached the house, both Bruenn and Fox [two physicians] were with the President in his bedroom. Miss Suckley [the President’s cousin] was in the living room, Miss Delano [another cousin] entered from the bedroom as I walked in. There were sounds of tortured breathing from the bedroom and low voices of the two men attending him. Miss Delano and Miss Suckley looked shocked and frightened; the former told me the President had finished some work with Mr. Hassett [an assistant ...

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The Death of Theodore Roosevelt (About.com American History)

An interesting history-related post from About.com American History:

January 6, 1919, marks the death of Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt first became president after the assassination of William McKinley in 1901. He also received a Nobel Prize for ...

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1775 — Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death by Patrick Henry

No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free– if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!